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CHILDREN IN MARGINALIZED COMMUNITIES OF KAKAMEGA COUNTY AGED BELOW FIVE (5) YEARS TO ACCESS EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION (ECE) THROUGH A HOME-BASED CARE MODEL, INSTIGATED BY MMUST’S PROLIFIC RESEARCHER DR. ROSE OPIYO

Led by the Principal Investigator, Dr. Rose Opiyo, the research team from the Department of Education Psychology, housed under the School of Education at MMUST, visited Ikhulili Community in Idakho South Ward, Ikolomani Sub-County in Kakamega on Thursday, July 29 2021. According to Dr. Rose Opiyo, the first two (2) Day Care Centers will be established between September 2021 and April 2022, after the acquisition of suitable community land within the identified communities such as Ikhulili. These centers will allow parents to take care of their children, including those living with disability, on a scheduled basis. The Home-Care Model Centers will also provide other important services in health and nutrition. 


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MMUST and Kakamega County teams pose for a group photo with one of the beneficiary communities.


“Parents are the first and most enduring teachers of children and we must take the education of children back to them,” said Dr. Opiyo.

The Director, Research and Postgraduate Support, Prof. Peter Bukhala amply represented the DVC in charge of Planning, Research and Innovation (PRI), Prof. J.S.K. Achoka at the launch of the project. Prof. Bukhala said that the University is happy to give back to the community and is doing so through this project.

“The County Government has ensured that PP1 and PP2 are there but young children are not catered for. This project will ensure young children are cared for as their parents participate in development activities,” said Prof. Bukhala.

He encouraged the parents to take their children to school, adding that MMUST is delighted to collaborate with the County Government of Kakamega to support children in the community.

Kakamega County Executive Committee member for Education, Dr. George Lutomia gave assurance that the County will support the initiative by employing and deploying professionals to support the centres established by the researchers. Dr. Lutomia added that the Home-Based Model Centres will create a pool of children who will transit to the County’s Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres.

“I am happy that the County has found a partner to enable it to reach the unreached children who are below 5 years,” said Dr. Lutomia.

The Chief Officer for Education, Kakamega County, Dr. Irene Ashioya, reiterated that it is good for the County to have a partner to fill the gap on establishing education centers in the communities. She further encouraged parents to take their children to these day care centres and ensure they transit up to University Level.

“We will support the project. This is a good move,” said Dr. Ashioya.

The Director International Relations and Academic Linkages, Dr. Catherine Aurah, said that the County Government, MMUST Research Team and the Community will benefit from the project. She urged all collaborating parties to have a mutual understanding and work together to make the project a success. “Community partnerships are important for the success of projects such as this one,” she stated.

Speaking at the event, the Director Corporate Communications and Marketing, Dr. Lydia Anyonje commended Dr. Rose Opiyo for boosting MMUST’s national and global visibility through her research. “Through the research project led by Dr. Opiyo, MMUST is carrying out its mandate on Community Social Responsibility (CSR). The community aspect in this research makes it transformative and meaningful,” she pointed out.


unnamedx 3PI Dr. Rose Opiyo addresses members of the community, Idakho South Ward.


The launch was also attended by the Dean, School of Education-Prof. Moses Poipoi, Coordinator Short Courses and Webometrics-Dr. Dennis Ochieno, Chair of Educational Psychology Department- Dr. Edward Khasakhala Okaya, Coordinator, Butula Study Centre Dr. Joel Ogutu, as well as DCCM crew Sandra Dorcas Awuor (news writer) and Wilberforce Shiundu (photographer).


Dr. Lydia AnyonjeMs. Sandra Awuor Dorcas

 

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